Rupp targets stadium, fees issues

Thomas Rupp said his liberal values and conservative fiscal policy will find balance with Betsy Raguse’s moderate views in his bid for Minnesota Student Association president.

The candidates, who said they have no political party affiliation, said they feel they have enough differences of opinion between them to be effective leaders of a nonpartisan body.

The title of Rupp and Raguse’s campaign is “Students. Stadium. Safety.” The two are active in greek government and MSA.

Rupp said he is concerned with student issues such as the rareness of four-year graduation, poorly paid teaching assistants, escalating fees and repeat State Legislature budget cuts.

The team said they are particularly passionate about combating University student fees, which Rupp said are the highest in the Big Ten, and education’s rising cost.

“All students should benefit from student groups who receive fee money,” Raguse said. “But it’s like they never look to see how the spending is benefiting anyone.”

The two said they know students are here to study and it is the MSA president’s duty to lobby on their behalf.

Rupp wants to focus on informing and empowering the student body.

“Basically, that’s how we’re running our campaign,” Rupp said. “Just going out and talking to people, making sure they know what MSA is and what it does.”

The team strongly favors an on-campus stadium. Rupp sits on the MSA stadium committee and helped draft the resolution limiting student contribution to $50 per semester.

Raguse said she believes MSA Forum members need to get out into the University community.

“Forum members just can’t wait for (students) to come to you with their problems, you have to go out and find out about them,” she said.

Christina Magnuson, Panhellenic Council president and a Minnesota Daily employee, cited Raguse’s effort to increase lighting in the Marcy-Holmes area as testament to her dedication to student safety.

“She is genuinely concerned with what people think and how she can help,” Magnuson said.

Rupp, an economics senior, and Raguse, a family social science junior, set a spending cap of $300 on their campaign.

“We’ve got a small war chest,” Rupp said, “not because we couldn’t raise the money but

because we’re trying to send a message: You don’t have to spend a lot of money.”

Interfraternity Council President Paul Horner was complimentary of Rupp’s performance thus far as vice president of finance in the organization.

“His ability to walk in and see the issues and prioritize them makes him a good leader,” Horner said.

Ibanga Umanah, who as head of MSA’s campus relations committee serves with Rupp, said he thinks Rupp would do a good job as president, but because he was new to MSA, it would take longer for him to get up to speed.

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